The Culture Secretary said Vladimir Putin really cared about culture and sport.
03 March 2022
Culture is “the third front in the Ukrainian war”, Nadine Dorries has said, as the Cabinet minister said sporting sanctions could hit as hard as economic measures on Russia.
Writing in the Telegraph, Ms Dorries said she was using the “full might of the UK’s soft power” to make Russian president Vladimir Putin an “international pariah”.
Ms Dorries is set to host sports ministers from the US, Australia, Germany, Poland, Netherlands, Latvia, Italy, Finland, Czech Republic, Norway and Canada on Thursday, to mobilise more support to isolate Russia from the global sporting arena.
It comes as Russian and Belarusian athletes will be banned from the Beijing Winter Paralympics after the International Paralympic Committee reversed its original decision.
Ms Dorries said: “Putin is now suffering a sporting and cultural Siberia of his own making.”
“These are not mere gestures. Culture and sport matter – to Putin, to his cronies and to the Russian people,” she said.
The Culture Secretary said that already the Champions League and Formula One Grand Prix had moved from Russia, and Fifa, Uefa, World Rugby, the International Tennis Federation and the International Olympic Committee had banned Russia and Russian teams from competitions.
This list now also includes the International Paralympic Committee.
“This sporting exile will be causing the Russian leader real pain,” Ms Dorries wrote.
The virtual ministers’ summit on Thursday will have three aims: to agree that Russia and Belarus are stripped from hosting any international sporting events, ensure teams and individuals are banned from international competition, and to take “tough action on sport-related investment with links to the Russian state”.